When you think of permanent cosmetics, many times the first thing that comes to mind is a procedure like microblading or powder brows. These types of procedures are basic permanent cosmetics procedures provided by the majority of permanent cosmetics artists. The goal of these basic permanent cosmetics procedures is to enhance our client’s natural beauty, but what can other permanent cosmetics procedures provide our clients? Many permanent cosmetics artists offer a group of services called paramedical procedures. Paramedical procedures are permanent cosmetics services that support medical work but do not require the help of a physician. These procedures can often bring great relief to clients who have experienced trauma, or self-consciousness for a variety of medical-related issues. Examples of paramedical procedures include areola restoration, scar tissue camouflage, cleft lip camouflage, vitiligo skin re-pigmentation, hairline restoration, and alopecia, trichotillomania, and dermatillomania treatments.
The most commonly performed paramedical procedure is areola restoration or what some call a 3-D areola and nipple procedure. This procedure is performed in many different circumstances, but most commonly among clients who have had breast cancer, and received a single or double mastectomy and may or may not have received a reconstruction surgery. Other circumstances for this procedure include clients who have applied products such as lotions, or serums to their areola that has lightened it over time, or someone who has naturally light areolas and is looking to add color to their areola. Although the case is most commonly a client who has had breast cancer, permanent cosmetics artists have to be prepared to perform this procedure on these other clients as well. For those clients who have experienced breast cancer and the possible reconstruction process, this procedure is the final step in their recovery process and a step that is very important to them. These clients essentially have a blank canvas they see on a daily basis, and for these women, many times they feel robbed of a part of their femininity. Permanent cosmetics artists can give what was taken from them back in some way through this procedure. A somewhat simple procedure, areola reconstruction or 3-D areola and nipple procedures provide a great deal of relief for our clients, and for those artists who perform this procedure, it is a very rewarding process.
Scar tissue camouflage, another type of paramedical procedure, is performed to reduce the appearance of scars by either lightening or darkening the area according to the scar itself. As with other procedures, scar tissue camouflage also can go by many different names. It is often referred to as corrective pigment camouflage, corrective camouflage, skin camouflage, camouflage tattooing, and skin color tattooing. Visible and distracting scars can influence one’s self-confidence and self-image. Those who have scars as a result of trauma are reminded of the trauma when looking at their scars. Those who opt to have scar tissue camouflage done notice a great relief taken off of their shoulders, much like our areola restoration clients. These procedures often take several sessions to completely achieve the camouflaged result the client is looking for. Many times it is difficult to get permanent cosmetics pigment to stay within a scar, for this reason, the artist will many times schedule multiple sessions to ensure the pigment is completely saturated into the affected area.
Cleft lip camouflage and pigmentation is a paramedical procedure that is done to camouflage scars from cleft lip surgeries and rounds out the cupids bow, giving the client a more pronounced and balanced appearance to their lips. Essentially, an artist will perform scar tissue camouflage as well as a normal lip procedure to give these clients their desired look. These procedures are often done with great results after a series of sessions, each with a different purpose. Sometimes an artist will want to ensure that the scar is completely covered before beginning with the lip procedure, or vice versa in order to ensure the procedure reaches the result the client is aiming for. Although traditional permanent cosmetics does not warrant overdrawing the lips for a larger-looking result, during this procedure it is expected to even out and balance the client’s lips.
Vitiligo skin re-pigmentation is a paramedical procedure performed to camouflage the appearance of patches of color in the skin caused by a disease called vitiligo. In many cases, these patches of lost pigment can get bigger with time and can occur on any part of the body, even inside the mouth. Vitiligo occurs in people whose skin cells that should produce melanin die or stop functioning. This disease can affect anyone of any skin type but can be must more noticeable in those who have darker skin. Although this disease is not life-threatening or painful whatsoever it can cause those who have it to be self-conscious or unhappy with their appearance. Oftentimes, because of this disease’s nature, the relationship between the client and the artist can be expected to be a long-term one, with clients often returning for touch-ups or additional procedures later in life.
Hairline restoration is a paramedical procedure that involves the use of advanced techniques, specially designed needles, and hair color pigments to add natural-looking hair strokes into the scalp to replicate the appearance of hair. Many men and women who are missing hair either in the hairline or on other places of the scalp opt to receive hairline restoration in order to give them the appearance of having fuller hair and camouflage their areas of self-consciousness. These procedures often call for a long-term relationship between the client and artist as well, with clients needing to return for touch-ups yearly or as needed depending on their selected technique and goals for their procedure.
Traditional permanent cosmetics services can also count as paramedical procedures when the client suffers from alopecia, trichotillomania, dermatillomania, or other medical conditions which cause the client to have trouble growing hair or keeping hair in the eyebrows and eyelashes. These clients are the bridge between paramedical services and permanent cosmetics services in which we are doing regular services such as microblading, eyeliner, or powder brows to relieve our clients of a possible cause of worry or self-consciousness. Alopecia clients suffer from an autoimmune disorder in which their hair follicles are attacked by the body which causes the hair to come out often in clumps. Many times these clients are unable to grow eyebrow hair or eyelashes, therefore, oftentimes permanent cosmetics procedures have much to offer them. Trichotillomania and dermatillomania are psychological disorders in which those who suffer from great stress pull out their hair, or pick at their skin excessively. Performing permanent cosmetics services on these clients often poses a potential amount of struggle for the artist because of their tendency to pick or irritate during the healing process. For this reason, the artist can often anticipate the client will need multiple procedures in order to reach the desired look. The artist will also need to inform the client that picking at the area will cause pigment to fade quicker, and to try their best to not pick at it. But also ensure the client that if they do pick at an area, we can do a touch-up procedure to cover it.
For permanent cosmetics students, the span of what they can offer is greatly extended after learning about paramedical services as a whole, and the growing need for educated artists that provide these services. It is essential, though, that those who provide these services are correctly educated on the specifics of permanent cosmetics, the skin, color theory as well as how to perform these specific paramedical services as well. This type of comprehensive permanent cosmetics education, as well as paramedical procedures education, is available at Arkansas Permanent Cosmetics Institute in Cabot, Arkansas. Students are taught the basic permanent cosmetics services as well as how to perform services using the correct universal precautions and sanitary techniques first for the students to get a feel of working with clients. After this portion of your education is finished, you have the option to take additional elective classes such as areola restoration, scar tissue camouflage, and the other paramedical procedures listed above that will set you apart from the rest and add to the possibilities of services you can provide once you have received your license and become a permanent cosmetics artist.